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Saga Phoenix Rising: The Journal of A Rebel Pilot [DDC 2017] - Updated 5/23

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Volund Starfire, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    [​IMG]
    Title: PHOENIX RISING: THE JOURNAL OF A REBEL PILOT

    Author: Volund Starfire

    Timeframe: During the events of Star Wars: Rebels, Season 2 (28 years after Episode I; 4 years BBY)

    Genre: 2017 Diary Challenge, Rebellion, Phoenix Squadron, Journal

    Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Dave Filoni for the introduction of Phoenix Squadron. To Uncle George who gave us a great galaxy to play around in!

    Author’s Note: This is my take on the events in and around the Rebels Season Two story arc from the eyes of a pilot in Phoenix Squadron.
     
  2. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 001
    A Long Time Ago in a galaxy far, far away....

    At least that’s what it felt like. It wasn’t, though. The truth is that it happened to me, and is continuing to happen to me as I write this. Force willing, it will continue to happen to me until I am old and gray. More than likely, it will just keep happening until some Imperial gets a lucky shot, at which point, please enjoy a drink on me. Heck, enjoy an entire bottle on me (encoded with this journal is a link to an account with ten credits plus whatever interest it accrues over the time it takes me to buy the agroplanet).

    My name is Ander, Ander Sonalex, and this is my story.

    I was born on the agro-planet Ukio. My father was a human, but was able to get himself appointed as an overseer for a handful of Ukian farms. During the Clone Wars, he was a logistical acquisitions specialist on Coruscant. He and my mother moved to Ukio to oversee food production for the Republic war effort. In his official capacity, he boosted distribution of crop productions almost three times what they previously were. This was all done through a hub system that he designed, had ownership over, and soon spread to the rest of the planet.

    After the war ended, he was granted control of the flagship hub by the Imperial governor. I later found out that it was because that governor was getting a 10% kickback from the sizeable profits my father had earned. At the time, I was too young to understand any of it. All I knew was that I was the son of a Clone War veteran turned agro-entrepreneur. However, I wanted more than sitting in some boardroom counting my credits.

    I loved flying. Whether it was flying with my father in his airspeeder as he inspected the hub or flying with my mother into town. I watched holodramas of the heroic Clone Wars pilots, read datacomics of heroes like Fenn Rau and his Mandalorian Protectors as they trained the Clone Army and fought the evil Separatists, and collected the various squadron patches of notable Clone Wars fighter units. I even built a repulsor model of a V-Wing when I was just six, though I ended up crashing it into a combine not long after.

    When I turned twelve, I convinced my mother to enroll me in the Imperial Cadet Corps. She loved the idea, because her father was an admiral of a Republic Cruiser during the war. I never really met my grandpa, though. His ship was shot down when the Jedi turned against the Supreme Chancellor.

    Father didn’t like the idea, though. In my second week, he stormed into the Junior Academy yelling and screaming for me to stop being childish and get back home. At one point, he came close to punching the Training Officer. There was nothing he could really do without sounding disloyal to the Empire, though, so he had to let it be. I remember him telling me that it was only a phase and I’d be back to the agro-hub when I tired of it. The problem is that I never tired of it.

    I only spent one year in the Junior Academy at Ukio. My father had always been insistent that I keep myself in peak physical shape and my tutor droids were all the latest models, so the courses were relatively easy for me. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the best in either category, but I had enough to qualify for an expedited program and placement in a Senior Academy before I turned fifteen as per standards. I was lucky that I got the Sector Academy at Lothal. It was brand new and I was part of the fifth class to ever attend!

    I was tapped for the Flight Program in the first month of training there. My mother bought me a simulator after I crashed the V-wing model to teach me how to fly. I’m pretty sure I spent more time in there than I did my bed at night. During a grand melee dog fight among the Flight Program cadets to test reflexes and aptitude, I was able to take out all of my classmates and one of the instructors before I was disabled. I impressed the instructor so much, that she named me Class Commander.

    Looking back, the Class Commander role was more of a punishment. Whenever anyone else decided to screw up, I got punished right alongside them. If their grades were too low, then I lost personal time to help them study. If their fitness scores were subpar, then I trained with them after my training cycle was over. Marksmanship, piloting, repair, you name it and I did it for both myself and whoever the lowest ranked in the class was. In the end, I graduated fourth. I’m sure the only reason I didn’t get first was because I was so busy helping others that I couldn’t study on my own low points enough.

    The day before graduation, the instructor who thought she was my own personal interrogation and torture droid, surprised me. She called for me to suit up and meet her in the hangar. We went through the normal pre-flight routines on a TIE fighter, which I knew by heart, and then we got inside. She told me to take the pilot’s seat and instructed me to take off.

    I loved piloting my family’s airspeeders when my mom or dad let me have the controls, but this was the first time I had ever flown an actual non-simulated starfighter. Sure it wasn’t solo, and the instructor was right behind me the entire time, but it was amazing. She let me take it out of the atmosphere and even engage the lasers to target some bits of debris around the planet. It was only an hour, but it was the best hour of my life at that point.

    The next day was graduation and it was nothing but standing in formation in full uniform while being bored. I was hot, uncomfortable, and so excited that I actually forgot to use the fresher before the ceremony began. However, I controlled myself while waiting for my name and which Imperial Academy I would be attending. My highest scores were flight, second was repairs. I’m just thankful that my roommate was a math whiz or I probably would have failed into the Stormtrooper Corps.

    I was lost in my own personal thrill of having flown for real the day before, and the need to empty my bladder, that I nearly missed the best news of my life. I was assigned to the Corellia Imperial Academy! It was the third best Academy for flight behind the Coruscant and Kuati, but was known to produce some of the best Elite Flight pilots in the entire Empire! Not to mention it was my grandpa’s homeworld!

    That’s when the best day of my life became the worst. After the ceremony, we were allowed to visit with our families for a few hours before reporting to the shuttles. I didn’t even know mine was there until I heard my mother’s voice as I exited one of the temporary fresher stations set up for the event. I hugged her and saw my father stalking behind her. He looked like someone told him the company shares took a hit.

    We went to a local upscale cantina for lunch before my shuttle left for Corellia. My mother did most of the talking; telling me what I missed over the last two years away from Ukio. My father was silent the entire time. They both walked with me to my room, to collect my gear, and then the shuttle pad. That’s where my father said his last words to me.

    “You just don’t have your priorities straight.” He then turned and walked away. My mother hugged me with a sad smile, kissed my forehead, and followed him.

    My time in the Imperial Academy went by quickly. The classes were challenging in just the ways I liked them. The off-time in Coronet City was fun and far different from anything I was used to on an agro-planet. The Corellian ladies were even more fun and different. However, a gentleman never kisses and tells. I’m a pilot, not a gentleman, so I told my roommates everything that happened. The only other person who had any idea was the medical officer after this one Twi’lek dancer and I hooked up, but that’s another more embarrassing story.

    I was tapped for Elite Flight as I had predicted, though my roommates kept telling me that I’d be better in a Command slot. Not in a Hutt’s eye. I’d either fly out of the Academy or walk. Though, any position would have been great.

    I didn’t graduate at the top of my class. Technically, I tied for seventh place. However, I had some of the highest mission scores of anyone in the rest of the Elite Flight program. I even set a new record in one of the live-fire missions. I think it was because of my high mission scores that my first assignment was to an Imperial Star Destroyer, unlike everyone else whose first post is some planetary or station duty. Heck, my roommate ended up lucking out to be a Garrison pilot on some tropical planet called Scarif.

    The ISD Despot was huge. The entire thing had the same floor space as the entire Imperial Academy Complex on Corellia. Sure, I was still sharing a room with three other people, but that’s the life of a newly commissioned Flight Officer in the Imperial Starfighter Corps. My deck assignments were pretty small, since pilots were generally kept within running distance of the launch deck.

    I admit that I got lost on my way to Pilot Country on my first day. The deck officer told me to turn left at the main corridor, which I did, and ended up wandered into a Stormtrooper bay. The troopers had a bit of a joke at my expense, but it was nothing next to the jokes I got from my new squadron. It’s not every day that a rookie pilot is hand-delivered to their squadron commander by a four-man stormtrooper escort. Jerks.

    My flight schedule was fairly standard for what I was trained for. I flew about a patrol a day, but I wasn’t even aboard for a month before we received our first mission orders. We were supposed to rendezvous with the Sector Fleet lead by the Sovereign, Grand Moff Tarkin’s command ship from which he governed the entire Outer Rim Territories.

    I admit that I wasn’t really paying too much attention in the briefing. It was Empire Day, and the Wing Commander promised a party in the Pilot Rec room with some actual alcohol (normally a major contraband item on a Star Destroyer), but the Captain made some concessions for off-duty personnel on important occasions. The truth is that I was a little hungover from a pre-party celebration a few of us had the previous night (thanks to more contraband that the Captain didn’t know about). However, I got enough of the briefing to do my job. It was just a babysitting run, after all. I manually raised my oxygen levels a little to make sure I was clear-headed before launch.

    I found myself escorting a pair of TIE Bombers to put down a Rebel Cell on some planet. I didn’t know the details, but the cell was operating out of a few of the major cities and was causing rebellion over the entire system. We weren’t expecting any resistance, but still had to fly escort just in case. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t trained for a million times in the simulator. However, there was something strange about this mission that I couldn’t really put my finger on until we broke through the light cloud cover.

    We were flying over the Therim Equatorial Basin of Ukio on a direct path for the Northern Irrigation Canal. We were less than a hundred kilometers from my home. My head cleared immediately as I pulled up the navigational charts and saw what our target was. Part of my mind panicked and went numb at the same time, but my discipline overrode my need to stop what I knew was going to happen.

    I saw the agro-hub; saw that my father’s personal speeder was there alongside my mother’s and a few of those belonging to the senior staff. My muscles locked as I saw the proton bombs drop from under the TIE Bombers. I couldn’t speak as their energized glow burned into my memory. A single tear rolled down my cheek as they impacted. The fireball caused a grunting sound to escape my throat as it closed so tightly that I thought I would choke.

    We continued on toward Sashasa, the capital, where both bombers unloaded on what I knew to be simple grain storage buildings. That’s when my targeting alert system sounded and I juked the stick right, narrowly avoiding the line of shots from a point defense laser. I looped around and came in to take out what should have been a religious calling the tower for the locals. The green beams of coherent light tracked up the side of the minaret, punching holes in the ornately carved stonework before impacting the turret. I passed it before the fireball fully formed.

    That’s when the recall order was sounded along with an order that turned my blood to ice. I heard the precise Coruscani accent of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, governor of the Outer Rim Territories and rumored third in line of the Imperial Throne, declaring a Base Delta Zero. I docked just as the turbolasers began firing.

    It took only three hours with the number of ships in the Sector Fleet, but it was broadcast across every view screen. In the end, the atmosphere was burned away, the land was turned molten, and the seas were black with the ash of what used to be a planet covered in agricultural blocks. The planet I was born on, my homeworld, was dead at the hands of MY Empire.

    I got so drunk at the Empire Day party that I don’t even remember making it back to my bunk, let alone making it to the head to throw up, showering, changing out of my uniform, or anything else until my next duty shift two days later. However, when the hangover wore off and I sobered up, I knew what I had to do.

    It took me a couple weeks to finalize my plans, but it wasn’t all that difficult. I only needed to shift my flight schedule with another one of the pilots who typically made liberty runs to the various planets we were in orbit over during our patrol. I disgorged the passengers, lifted off as normal, and jumped midway to the ship. They didn’t even realize anything was wrong until I was already in hyperspace. After that, it was easy work to reprogram the transponder to one I fabricated in the maintenance shop.

    I ended up at a planet not too far from Lothal called Nixus where I arranged to sell the shuttle for a large amount of credits to some smooth-talking gambler. I didn’t ask what he wanted an Imperial shuttle for and he didn’t ask how I had one in my possession. Though, he did offer me a change of clothes and pointed me to someone who could make me a fake identi-card, for five percent off his original offer.

    Most of the credits went to me hopping from one planet to another. I learned that I was wanted as a deserter and for theft of Imperial Military property, but there was no bounty. That still kept me on edge when I reached a new starport. I knew Imperial Intelligence wouldn’t be actively looking for me, but I was guaranteed a cell or a blaster bolt if they did catch me. Their droids probed most of the disgorging passengers, so I took to wearing a hood with my jacket.

    That’s when I ended up at the starport cantina on Alderaan. It was probably closer to the core than I should have been, but the Intel types wouldn’t expect me laying low on a core world. Also, I remembered from Corellia that most of the core world security types had no love for the Empire or Imperial troops. My hope was that I could find a transport to serve on, maybe even get picked up by a mercenary unit. I definitely wasn’t expecting what I did find, though.

    The first thing I noticed in the cantina was the seven pilots sitting in a corner booth. They weren’t wearing their flight suits, but I could still identify them as pilots. They picked up on me, too. It’s a pilot thing; the way you sit, the way your eyes scan, the way you grab your drink. It would take me too long to explain.

    One of them came up to me at the bar to refresh her drink. I knew it was just to start up a conversation, though. The seat she vacated had a half-full glass sitting on the table. But, who was I to ignore a pretty woman who wanted to talk? This is especially true if the pretty woman was also a pilot and probably extending an offer for a piloting job.

    The conversation was light, at first. We talked about flying, certain maneuvers, and general questions that I knew were only to prove that I was actually a pilot. That’s when she brought up politics and the Empire. I told her that I didn’t want to talk about it, but she pushed. So, I told her that I saw more than I should have. She pushed a little more, but then her eyes widened before I could politely disengage from the conversation.

    I followed her gaze to the door and saw an ISB agent flanked by two Stormtroopers standing in the main entrance. I opened my mouth to say something and she pulled me into a fully docked lip lock. As far as kisses went, this one was a little more urgent than I preferred. Then again, when a blonde’s tongue is wrestling with yours for dominance, you really shouldn’t complain. Her drink was rather fruity, by the way.

    The ISB team left and she finally came up for air. It took me a couple of seconds to form a coherent thought before we both said, “Thanks, they were after me.” That opened a whole new conversation between the both of us that was cut short by the rest of her team. They ‘invited’ me back to their hangar to finish the conversation, one that I felt I couldn’t get out of thanks to a not-too-concealed blaster in my side hidden under a flight jacket.

    Long story short, they were Rebel pilots. I told them my story, to include the Base Delta Zero on Ukio, and they offered me a job. It’s not every day you get offered to fly against the people that trained you and then destroyed your entire planet. Needless to say, I accepted.

    The next week involved background checks, interrogations, and a great deal of time waiting in a private room aboard some kind of ship. It wasn’t a cell, but I was still locked in. I got three actual meals a day and had my own fresher, so I really couldn’t complain. The blonde visited me a couple of times with some holovids. She said that I was under constant surveillance just in case, but it didn’t stop her from practicing what we began with less urgency than in the cantina. That’s when things took a turn for the weird.

    Everyone I had met so far was wearing uniforms. They weren’t from any military I was familiar with, probably a planetary militia, but they were still uniforms. The only exception was my final visitor. She was a rather lovely Togruta woman who wore something wholly different from the rest of the crew. There was some armor to her outfit, but it was most definitely civilian wear of a style I had never seen before. It included a couple of free-hanging pieces of equipment that looked like vibroblade hilts without the blades attached. I guessed she couldn’t carry the actual blades on the ship for safety reasons.

    She didn’t really interrogate me, as much as we just held a normal conversation. I felt a strange pressure in the back of my head the entire time, though. It was the same pressure I remembered from meeting with the ‘special projects’ recruiter at the Youth Academy close to six years prior. It was the same situation, non-military clothing in a not-interrogation. This time, the woman was giving off a feeling of peace rather than a feeling of I’m-going-to-play-with-you-until-you-die-and-then-I-might-play-with-you-some-more like that female did. Though, it would have been more fun if this one flirted like the other.

    After the not-interrogation, I was issued a red flight suit, black vest, boots, gloves, chest box, and helmet. I was then shoved aboard a shuttle to the middle of nowhere with a group of other people. The helmet was just plain white, so I used a spray-pen I found in the maintenance box on the shuttle to paint in the rough shape of my family crest. It brightened the helmet up a little.

    During the trip, I also began this log. It was mostly out of boredom, but the woman I first met in the bar told me it would help to alleviate some stress. She said she’d show me some other ways to alleviate stress if I got past the security checks. However, that’s about where this log is going to end. One of the joys of being a pilot is that I need to fly. The signal just blinked that I’m needed back in the cockpit for co-pilot duty. I have to make sure this group of technicians gets to where the heck we’re all going.
     
  3. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 002: It’s been a week....

    When I first arrived, I knew that I didn’t fit in. I stood a little straighter than the other crew. I walked a little faster than the other crew. I stood at attention when speaking to officers and kept my Imperial bearing while in uniform. Everyone knows that I’m a former Imperial, and that makes it even worse when trying to fit in. The only reason I was in at all was because of what happened during my first time at the stick, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

    I’m stationed aboard the Phoenix Home, an old Republic-era Kuat Drive Yards Pelta-class Medical Frigate that was refitted by the Rebels into a command ship and light carrier. It’s not really that bad of a ship, but definitely isn’t a Star Destroyer. The one saving grace is that the Rebels kept one of the twelve medical bays fully active, making it equal to a Star Destroyer in that respect.

    Commander Jun Sato is a good man. He gave me my in-brief when I first came on board. What I got was more of a job interview, though. He was very calm, but had to tell me to relax about five times. He only brought up my Imperial service once when he asked which Academy I attended. He seemed genuinely impressed when I told him it was the Corellian Academy.

    Phoenix Leader didn’t trust me, and told me as much when Commander Sato handed me off to him. He took me down to the launch bay and showed me the fighter I was assigned. He was almost relieved to hand me off to my fighter’s mechanic when he saw her. What he did tell me was that my assigned callsign was Phoenix Twelve and I was assigned to Cresh Group.

    My tech’s name was Serim. The first impression was pretty good, all things considered: a nice shapely butt because she was bending over into the cockpit of the fighter. The upper part of her was cute, too. She was a Mirialan with olive skin and the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen. She even had a set of very interesting tattoos along her cheeks.

    She introduced me to the fighter. It was a Kuat Engineering Systems RZ-1 A-Wing starfighter. It was 2.4 meters longer than a TIE, but the cockpit was claustrophobic and barely had enough room for me. It had an extra 100 km/h on the TIE and sported a pair of concussion missile launchers. It also sported shields and a hyperdrive. The downside was the compact frame meant it couldn’t take as much damage as other ships.

    I ended up helping Serim put the laser cannon back together and then she showed me how to tune up the hyperdrive. She was taught how to fix ships by her mom who was a separatist fighter technician during the war. She also got my life story out of me. She wasn’t even taken aback when I told her that I defected from the Imperial military. She said that I knew mechanics, so I was good in her book. That’s when she took me to meet the rest of my group.

    Cresh group, the third element of Phoenix Squadron, all shared a berth. Four bunks, four lockers, a holonet terminal, a refresher, and it’s all located midway between the flight deck, the mess, and right across from the simulator bay. I got the bottom right bunk and the furthest locker from the door.

    Phoenix Nine was the lead element in our group. She was a human named Cari and was a former Imperial like me. She ended up jumping ship about a year ago for some of the same reasons I did, but it involved being lead in a Bomber group that took out a hospital ship. She told me that she expected me to follow her orders immediately, which I didn’t have a problem with. Then again, it wasn’t difficult for me to do because of her clipped Coruscani accent.

    Ten was really quiet when I walked in, until I opened my locker. I wasn’t even aware that self-inflating dolls came in Wookiee. He had the bunk over mine. I know this because he rolled out of it from laughing so hard. I laughed along with the rest of them as I popped it and tossed it in the trash. He had an unruly mess of blond hair that seemed to be perpetually covering his eyes. He said his name was Ricket.

    Eleven was quiet, never even moving from his bunk and not even chuckling at the Wookiee doll. He was staring at me like a tophcat at a chorta. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he was spinning an obviously active vibroblade between his fingers. He had a fair bit of ion scarring on the side of his face and his left eye was cybernetic. Ricket said that his name was Gret.

    We spent the rest of the day in the simulators where I was learning the intricacies of the A-Wing starfighter. The most difficult thing was learning how to use the shield controls. The hyperdrive was much easier; literally select a destination and pull a lever, pushing it back when the indicator light came on. The rest of the systems were handled by the droid brain.

    In the end, I had Ricket almost gushing over how well I flew. Cari actually smiled at his antics and I heard Gret grumble something approvingly. We went to the mess afterwards and I got more than my fair share of sidelong glances. I’m not sure if it was because I was the new guy or because I was a former Imp.

    The next morning, I had my first patrol. I’d call it uneventful, but that would be giving it credit. The third day was the same. Unfortunately, the fourth day ended up being a little more active. Cresh was on alert 5 while Besh was on patrol. When the alert sounded, I was helping Serim recalibrate the starboard pivot mount for the laser.

    I was last out the gate. The moment I hit vacuum, I saw that the alert wasn’t just a drill. The fleet was three Alderaan Cruisers and the Command Cruiser. However, they were all under attack by a group of four Imperial Light Cruisers. Space was full of the eight A-Wings and eleven of the twelve TIE Fighters they carried.

    I pulled in beside Eleven as we went for one of the TIE flights. I zeroed in on the fighter to the left and he took the right. Both went up before they could even react to their threat indicators. However, that also drew the attention of one of the cruisers. We both had to break to avoid shots from one of the quad laser turrets.

    I heard Commander Sato over the comms informing the fighters that the fleet was preparing to jump. He wanted us to keep the TIEs busy until the fleet was away. Well, that wasn’t much of a problem. The TIEs were pretty much ignoring the capital ships now.

    I nosed over and let a series of shots fly toward the bridge of the cruiser that fired on me. I knew it would only make pretty lights across the bridge deflectors, but it would also… Then I got a quick idea. An idea that I knew the Imperials would fall for because of their standard protocols.

    I switched over to an open frequency and acknowledged to “Commander Ricket” the order to focus concussion missile fire on the bridges of the cruisers. Commander Sato was pissed for my making an unsecure broadcast, but changed his tune when the cruisers pulled in rather than angled for shots at the fleet.

    I turned and let my targeting computer lock onto the bridge of another cruiser and began an attack run. I knew that none of the fighters had missiles, due to the expenses, but the Imperials didn’t. The cruiser began a roll of its own to pull the bridge out of my target, but also lost turbolaser lock on one of the blockade runners.

    I pulled around and caught a TIE in my crosshairs momentarily, releasing lasers that punched through the rear viewport. I saw a brief flash of light on the wings from the front and the TIE just kept drifting forward through space, the cockpit gutted from my blast.

    That’s when I heard another pilot yelling for help. I looked around and saw that it was one of the green fighters from Besh. She didn’t have a wingman, but Eleven turned toward her. I kept on his wing even as the TIE vaporized the A-Wing with a series of shots that ate through the shields and engines. Eleven blasted its right wing strut off and it cartwheeled straight into one of the cruisers. I took care of his wingman.

    That’s when my display flashed. The capital ships jumped to lightspeed. Nine ordered us to form up and I did. Rather than make our own escape, I got a request to slave my target lock to Nine. The lock-on tone rang through the helmet speakers the moment I acknowledged the request. At the same time, the cruiser rolled and banked to avoid a shot to the bridge. In its haste, it collided with another ship.

    I let out a bark of laughter as the red hyperspace indicator lit in the cockpit. I pulled the lever and saw the stars fade into the azure kaleidoscope of lightspeed. I knew it wouldn’t be more than superficial damage, but it would be enough to get that commander a major demotion.

    I got a pretty severe dressing down by Lieutenant Cari when I landed. That was followed up by an even worse dressing down by Phoenix One when he finally got aboard. I was then marched to the bridge where I got a level three dressing down by Commander Sato.

    It was then that Commander Sato nodded to the XO, who pulled out a datapad and began reading off what at first sounded like a courts martial, until I realized the wording was a commendation. Yup, not only was I given a triple-dressing down, but I was also promoted to Flight Officer from just Pilot.

    When I finally got back to pilot country, I got a number of slaps on the back for my quick thinking. This included an offered drink from a couple different flasks. It was a bit of a party, both congratulatory and memorial for the pilots we lost. I was able to sneak out early and went back to the flight bay.

    I needed to finish the calibration on my laser’s hardware and was soon joined by Serim. She didn’t say anything as she took apart one of the shield projector plates on the other side of the fighter. Though, I did have a flask on the wing when I came up from under the cannon assembly.

    This was definitely one hell of a week.
     
    Mistress_Renata likes this.
  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Quick thinking on Ander's part! I hope he lasts a while; if the TV show is any indication, the career will be short. :( They say it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission, and if his knowledge of Imperial protocols gives them an edge, why not use it? He's certainly not the only one to cross over; I'm sure he'll relax when he realizes there are others.

    Enjoying this, Volund Starfire! (write faster :D)
     
    Volund Starfire likes this.
  5. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Thank you. This is part of the Dear Diary challenge, so I'll be releasing another 51 parts of the story from now until New Year's Eve. While I am writing faster, the new posts will be on Sundays (or Mondays depending on vacations or weather like this last week).
     
  6. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 003: Every military is the same…

    It doesn’t matter what military you are with, everything is the same. The uniforms are different. The training is different. The accents are different. However, that’s all just the window dressing for the same sets of routines and practices. How you spend your days are the same, regardless of whether you are an Imperial, Rebel, or all points in between.

    There was a bit of a shifting in the roster at the beginning of the week. Cresh group is the newbie group used for training, except for Phoenix Nine (third in command of the Squadron). Since Besh was down two pilots from the last mission, Phoenix Five and Six, both Ricket and Gret were transferred to Besh with Gret getting a promotion to Flight Lieutenant. We, on the other hand, got two new pilots and fighters into Cresh.

    My callsign was relisted as Phoenix Ten and I became the impromptu second stick of the group. Ceri didn’t mind this fact because she said I showed some good initiative and it was her that suggested Gret take on first stick of Besh. After some simulator practice, we both evened out to each other’s flying style. By the end of the week, we were both completely synched up on the stick. I’m guessing it’s because we were both Imperial trained, which actually does mean something (regardless of what Commander Sato believes).

    Our two newbies both arrived on the same ship. If you don’t know Gungan, a newbie is a newcomer to the swamps or someone out of their element. That definitely described both of the fresh meat in Cresh Group. Don’t forget that this is coming from a guy who has been in the Rebels for a total of about two weeks.

    Phoenix Eleven was a girl from Naboo. I can’t even call her a woman because she looks all of fifteen years old. I later found out that she’s just a year younger than I am. Her name is Nina Azar. She’s good on the stick, but says she’s a better shot than she is a pilot. After the first time in the simulator, I believe her. She even came close to my accuracy score, but Phoenix Nine told her that she needs to be in the simulator an additional hour every day until she can fly the simulator proving ground in under two minutes… without crashing.

    Phoenix Twelve was from Alderaan, his name is Blaine. He had the exact opposite problem of Nina. He could outfly everyone in the squadron. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hit bantha poodoo (or the bantha for that matter). He said that he was a performer in a flying circus, but wanted to do more to help than just fly fancily around. Well, Nine told him that he was with Nina for that extra hour learning how to shoot as well as he could fly and teaching her to fly as well as she could shoot.

    Other than the roster change, nothing else changed. We were still flying daily patrols, sitting in the briefing room pulling daily alert, doing daily maintenance, doing daily training, and recreating in the same precise manner as I was used to in the Empire, except we didn’t have to shine our boots unless we wanted to. Some people can lose themselves in a routine, but I definitely am not one of them. Routines make you sloppy, but I had a good support network to keep myself busy.

    During patrols, we’d take turns reading tactics and intel reports out loud over our Group comms. We’d also go over Rebel standard operating procedures, rules and regs, and any other book-learning that we could get our hands on. Sometimes, we’d even tap into the Imperial holonet feed and make fun of the propaganda.

    Maintenance was actually more relaxing than I thought it would be. Serim declared me ‘competent’ enough to work on the fighter without her direct supervision. We began talking while we worked, which was a refreshing change from the silence she used to give me. One of the best things about my fighter was the ability to adjust the controls to better fit my flying style. TIEs have to be identical with no pilot having an assigned fighter unless they were an ace, but this fighter was my own.

    Besides flying every day, we also spent an hour in the simulator. It was mostly to keep our combat reflexes sharp, but also to practice new moves and tactics. Sometimes we would fly together, other times we would fly head to head, and still other times we’d have a faceoff to see who was the last alive. It would be random, but mostly it was either Nine or myself.

    Mandatory recreation time was usually spent in the Day Room, the Pilot’s Mess, or the bunks. Though, I did meet Phoenix Three (the blonde from the bar) in one of the supply rooms for a little “mandatory recreation” of our own a few times. That definitely helped pass the time. Otherwise, we told stories from previous missions, stories of our past, or just tall tales (unless Ricket actually scored with an Aqualish, which I don’t want to think about).

    Everything was the same until the end of the week, that is. I’d heard some rumors that we were partnering with a smuggler crew that went by the codename The Spectres. I didn’t think anything of it, but I assumed they were the ones that were supposed to supply us. I mean, the Empire has their supply ships, why not use smuggling ships for the Rebellion. I just hadn’t actually seen any of them until this week.

    The captain was a beautiful Twi’lek woman with green skin and an orange coverall that snugged in all the right spots. Her first officer was a human man who looked like he stepped out of a holodrama about smugglers. They were closely followed by an old C1-series astromech that I only remembered from some of the far older variants that were used as spare parts for the agrohub repair droids, but this one had two different leg struts and a bit of an attitude problem.

    The rest of the crew wasn’t much better, but they hung back a bit. There was a big, purple alien that I could smell from the door to Pilot Country. There was a kid with him that had the strangest looking blaster hanging on his belt from a clip. However, I was instantly smitten with the final member of their crew.

    I couldn’t tell her age, but she couldn’t have been in her twenties. What stood out, and drew my attention the most, was the fact that she was decked out in Mandalorian armor with a pair of Mandalorian pistols on her hips and a Mandalorian helmet on her head. I’ve always been interested in the Mandalorians since reading about Fenn Rau during the Clone Wars, and studying some of his tactics at Corellia. Her armor was also brightly colored and looked hand painted.

    Three ended up smacking me upside the back of the head as she walked by. She told me to take a picture if I was going to stare so long. This got a chuckle out of the Mando as she took her helmet off and gave me an appraising glance. I’m not sure if I lived up to her expectation or not, because she just flipped her blue hair out of her eyes and followed the rest of her crew.

    They came on board and the captain spoke immediately with Commander Sato. Not long after, Aurek Group was called into the briefing room with the smugglers. Before they entered the room, the kid and first mate both looked at me at the same time. It was a little strange, but they were probably not used to being onboard a ship and didn’t realize they were being watched.

    The schedules were shifted around slightly, since Aurek was going out on some kind of mission with the smugglers. We were doing four shifts of two until Aurek returned home. Unfortunately, both Five and Nine said that meant an extra hour of sims. I drew the unlucky straw and lost the rest of my recreation time to being first flight with Nine.

    While I was out, I got a good look at their ship. My sensors read it as the Ghost. It was a modified VCX-100 light freighter with a VCX-series auxiliary starfighter docked in the rear. It was beat up, blast-scarred, scorched, and definitely needed a new coat of paint, but it also looked well taken care of.

    Aurek group and the Ghost launched before my patrol was finished. I ended my patrol, sat through another hour of combat sims with Nine. She wanted to see who could take out more TIEs before being destroyed with infinite-spawning waves. She won three of the five times.

    I woke up the next morning just about the same time Aurek and the smugglers returned from their mission. They secured fuel and supplies from an Imperial convoy and the crew was busy getting it ready for transfer to the fleet. Unfortunately, the foodstuff was just nutrient paste. Then again, it was better than starvation, but just barely. There was also a full shipment of Concussion Missiles, but I was told those would be going to the Group Leaders unless the mission required them.

    Other than that, it was just a normal week in the Rebellion.
     
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  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Well, as normal as the Rebellion ever gets!

    Fun to read his impressions of the Ghost crew. Did he ever get a name for Phoenix Three, or is he deliberately leaving it out to be discreet?
     
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  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Wow, you built a great character in Ander! I really like how much you covered from his youth onwards in his backstory - that really was a tragedy for the Empire he served to turn on him that way, and my heart hurt for the that mission destroyed his family - especially as it looks like his father never approved of his Imperial service in the first place. Yet, I am happy to see that that awful event turned him towards the Rebels' side.

    Since then, I really like the particulars you've built up about the pilots' day to day lives. You've really put a lot of thought into the infrastructure of the squadron and military life, and I've not had a single problem picturing the world you've built. I like how diverse your cast of characters is, too - Nina and Blaine really stood out to me in the last update. I really like how their pros/cons compliment each other. You write excellent action sequences, that said - I really enjoyed that dogfight in space, which is no easy feat as a writer, I know! The Ahsoka cameo was very nicely done, too. I really enjoyed that. [face_love]

    All in all, I've really enjoyed getting to know Ander so far, and can't wait for more! =D=
     
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  9. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I’ll be getting into a bit more about the Ghost crew soon, but you know what they say about first impressions. As the son of an industrialist turned Imperial, he will have that low-view of smugglers. However, as you saw, he understands the need from the holodrama’s. There is also the fact that, while the crew has been working with the Rebellion for a little while, this is the first time that Ander has actually seen them.

    Phoenix Three will be explained soon, though. It is a little bit about discretion, but there may be another reason for him primarily referring to people by their callsigns. With Three, it might be as simple as their just “bumping Hutts” rather than actually getting into a relationship, or it could be something more.

    Thank you. As you saw from the little bit about Phoenix Nine, Ander’s story is just one of the reasons that people leave the Empire. I was slightly inspired by the novel Lost Stars, but needed something to completely break the initial indoctrination of a new recruit just out of training.

    The military life bit is really easy for me to write, because I were one. Some of the bits you see may or may not have actually happened to me, but in less Star Warsy.

    The action sequences are a little easier for me. I run my action sequences similar to a RPG. Every paragraph is a turn (about six seconds). In every turn, a character can shoot, move, and communicate. By that, I mean they can make an attack or action, they can move or make a maneuver, and they can call out information or say something. Some characters will be able to do more than others, depending on their level of skill (or other reasons), that we’ll be seeing later.

    Finally, there is the Ahsoka information. The novel Ahsoka stated that she was the one who built Commander Sato’s fleet. She’ll be coming into things more and more, perhaps even working with Phoenix Squadron in more than just a consulting role, but we’ll see later.
     
  10. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 004: Downtime…

    It’s more of the proverbial same. Same patrols, same maintenance, same simulators, and same bland food paste that I thought I escaped from when I left the Empire… or is it left when I escaped the Empire? Well, either way, it still tastes like unflavored dental cleanser with just a hint of fungal aftertaste.

    There were three things that came in the supply shipment that I was grateful for. The first was a set of feedback exercisers that I have been using regularly on my off-time. The second was a refill of beard suppressant, which was better received than the food paste (and probably tasted better, too). There was also a small supply of holomags that helped to pass the time. It was better than the year-old copy of Hot Ships we had floating around the rec room.

    I didn’t really know how much muscle mass I was losing until the morning after I began using the feedback exerciser. TIE’s don’t have many systems, but they do have a repulse gravity system built into their floor panel. Thanks to the compact aspect of the A-Wing, gravity was never a priority. It relies on the inertial dampener to redirect acceleration into a general feeling of down. That plays hell on the muscles, but thankfully the ration paste has a bone density element to it so I don’t have to worry about the skeletal problems from low-G.

    I woke up the day after my first workout feeling like my first run through the Corellian Academy Double-Grav Grinder Course. I set the controls for level 2 for a 30 minute session, when I used to do level 5 for an hour at the Academy. I spoke to the med droid about it, and he gave me a protein supplement and suggested that I gradually increase from level 1. Don’t call me a wuss, either; it’s not a good thing for combat pilots to be stiff.

    Earlier this week, I saw the Togruta woman again when her fighter docked with Phoenix Home. I had no idea she was a pilot. She was still wearing that same armor-like suit of non-uniform and didn’t even fly with a helmet. She saw me on the flight deck, helping Phoenix Three with her sensor calibration, and walked over.

    Her fighter was an A-Wing with a custom paintjob. It was crimson with white detailing. It was a white long triangle down the center with a star right in the front of the cockpit. There were white wings or moons beside it on the edges of the wings. Finally, the cockpit struts were white, as well. It looked really familiar, like from a holovid I saw some time ago, but I couldn’t recognize it.

    She asked if I was fitting in well and how I liked my new home. I answered truthfully, just like before, but didn’t notice the look that Three was giving me. The Togruta smiled and said that we’d speak later. I told her that I looked forward to it and went back to what I was doing… just in time to get a dirty rag thrown at the back of my head.

    Three told me that she didn’t like me looking at other women, with a laugh and punch to the shoulder. I asked her if she was jealous and she asked me if I knew who that woman was. I shrugged and said that she was some kind of officer. Three called me cute but brainless, and told me that she was Ahsoka Tano, a Clone Wars hero. I thought she was just pulling my leg, because that means that Ahsoka would have had to be fighting when she was a teenager. I mean, she didn’t look much older than thirty if I’d had to guess.

    I was given a bit more of a history lesson regarding the “non-uniformed” personnel around the ship. I learned that the crew of the Ghost was unofficial members of Phoenix Squadron and that Captain Syndula was considered an Operation Head when the Ghost flew with us. I also learned that Ahsoka actually organized the fleet and all arrangements for new pilots when through her.

    Ahsoka and I did speak later. She came to Pilot Country and invited me to one of the few tables not occupied by either Sabaac or Dejarik. She kept the conversation light at first, mostly focusing on my experiences with the A-Wing. The conversation turned to my experiences through the different academies. She was quite interested in the indoctrination.

    When the time seemed right, I asked her about her part in the Clone Wars. She seemed both surprised and saddened that I brought it up. She looked me in the eyes and told me that she was a Commander. I gave her a disarming smile and told her that if she had a cloned sister or two, I’d be happy if she could introduce us. Her clouded look disappeared and she rolled her eyes with a half-muttered “boys” under her breath. She turned suddenly serious and asked me what I knew about the Clone Wars.

    I told her of the history courses in the Academy, and my love of the holodramas (to include a couple bootleg ones I got from workers in the hub). Then she asked me what I knew about the Jedi involvement. I gave her the line I was told time and again in the Academy, that the Jedi were the ones who began the war and the Emperor and his clone army ended it. She smiled and asked if I believed it. I simply told her that the winner writes the history books. She gave me a smile, rose from the table and began to walk away. She stopped, turned and said something that stuck with me all week long, “yes he did, but we will be rewriting them with the truth soon enough.”

    The crew of the Ghost left on some mission not long after that. They didn’t take their ship, though. They took Star Commuter 2000 shuttle that was in the overhead maintenance area of the hangar. Scuttlebutt is that they were picking up some high-ranking diplomat that was trying to defect. One of Three’s friends was on the bridge and overheard a message their droid relayed from their ship, but wasn’t paying too much attention. I guess it’s better than stealing an Imperial troop shuttle to get away.

    I found out something else that was really interesting, too. Apparently, the first officer of the Ghost is a Jedi! I couldn’t believe it, A Jedi is on the same ship as me. Not only is he a Jedi, but the kid on the crew is his apprentice! Well, the term Three used was Pady-won, whatever that means. Two Jedi on the same ship with a Mandalorian; I could see why they’re so important around the fleet. As if that wasn’t enough, the pilot was the daughter of some Rebel commander from Ryloth, but Three didn’t know too much about it, being from Kuat and all.

    That’s about all I can really tell you about this week. I’m not going to hope things get more interesting, because it would probably come back to bite me in the seat. Though, I do have one more thing to report.

    Eleven and Twelve are doing much better. Eleven was able to complete the entirety of the simulator course without running into any of the obstacle rings and Twelve was able to complete the entirety of the course while taking out about half of the turrets on the rings. They are working together quite well, to the point that I caught them making out in the showers. I had to admonish them about making out in the crew areas and suggested they try a maintenance locker…

    I was impressed the next day when they took my advice. However, they spoiled the mood between Three and I when they opened the door right in the middle of our… physical training session… After some initial embarrassment and a little staring on both of their parts (we were right in the middle of the training), I told them both something I forgot to before: Be sure to knock to make sure the maintenance locker is unoccupied or not otherwise being used for “training” purposes.
     
  11. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I think one of the things I'm really enjoying is just the day-to-day stuff. It can't all be space battles and wild adventures.

    An interesting approach; I would never have thought of doing it that way. I'll have to try it myself, sometime. Action sequences are difficult, but so good when you can get them right.

    I'm thinking someone will have to post a sign-up sheet for that maintenance locker! And Force help the poor technician that needs to access it for actual maintenance! [face_laugh]
     
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  12. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I’ve always believed that a diary should include the exciting stuff as well as the mundane stuff. It also allows for some good character development on the little things that make a character memorable. For instance, an action hero that can do no wrong while on the screen isn’t all that memorable unless they are also haunted by something in private that you never see and drown it with alcohol and self-loathing. Would you think the same of Kylo Ren if you never saw him throwing his temper tantrums?

    I started writing my action scenes like that back during my first novel. It was very difficult back then because I was doing it all by myself. Then, I found a D&D group (and then we dabbled in Starship Troopers and Star Wars) and I cemented my idea a little better. I’m actually using the theory in an RPG that I’m developing (shoot, move, communicate, anything else takes more concentration and lowers skill rolls).

    The one thing I learned on deployments was the rotation schedule of when maintenance was performed. Not that I ever stole some time with someone in the maintenance tent, but if I had, I would definitely not have done it during maintenance times. If I had done such a thing, I would only have been caught once, but the unwritten rule was no-see, no-tell because the next time it might be you.
     
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  13. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Yes, the exciting stuff is great, not to mention the meat of fanfiction. :) But I am enjoying the mundane, too, the day-to-day of how people live in GFFA. So please don't hesitate to put in some down time. And yes, it is nice to see the flaws and struggles of our characters; perfect heros are boring. We like them more when they have something to overcome, whether it's taking out a Death Star, dealing with a harsh memory, or just managing to get out of bed on time (my personal flaw).
     
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  14. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 005: They’re all gone....

    I’m the last member of Phoenix Squadron. All of my comrades, all of my friends, are all gone. That pilot single-handedly wiped out my entire squadron and destroyed our command ship. Twenty-six out of the nine hundred crew were all that escaped.

    How could one pilot have done all that, and what was that ship he was in? It was a TIE Fighter, but it wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before. Wait. No. This isn’t how I should start this. It will probably be looked at by an official inquiry or whatever the Rebels do. I need to take it in order of events.

    It was routine as normal for the squadron. The groups were ordered to dock with each of the Corvettes in the fleet to ensure the fighters locked correctly and the Blockade Runners didn’t have an issue with their docking collars. Not long after I jumped ship from the Empire, the fleet engaged in an attack run against a number of Star Destroyers around Mustafar. I heard that Tarkin’s ship, the Soverign, was destroyed in the action. I also heard that the crew of the Ghost was responsible, so I believed it.

    After the mission, Commander Sato decided to use the docking collars for fighters on the port, starboard, and lower airlocks of the corvettes. If nothing else, it would give a bit of support to long range missions. It would also make the lives of the pilots better for the longer hyperspace transit times around Lothal Sector.

    One of the perks to the assignment was that Nine and I both got ourselves a cup of actual homebrew caf from the captain of the Emancipator, and I’m not talking about that carbon frozen stuff, either. One of the perks of being Fleet XO is that she had an actual caf plant in her quarters that she harvested and shared with her officers once every season. I hadn’t had any actual caf since just before I boarded the shuttle to Alderaan. I would say that we both savored it, but we only had fifteen minutes until the technicians told us the links were five-by-five and we had to move on to the next ship.

    It wasn’t just checking on the CR90s, either. We had to make sure that each of the fighters could be linked to a Corvette. With how compact the systems were in the A-Wings, one wrong shot could fry the hyperdrive motivator and we’d need to bug out while piggy-backing a capital ship.

    Unfortunately, two of Besh’s fighters had malfunctions when they tried to dock. Seven’s entire shield assembly failed in a spectacular manner which ionized every system in his fighter. Five’s cockpit display systems fried themselves to the point of needing to be completely replaced. Unfortunately, that made it necessary for Cresh to pull Besh’s alert position for the rest of the day. It’s not like we had anything else better to do, like sleep.

    I was playing sabaac with Nina and Blaine in the Ready Room while Cari kicked her feet on the briefing podium half-watching the sensor feeds. It was quiet, Cari woke herself up with a snort every few minutes. Each of us card players would stack a one credit chip into the Idiot’s Ante whenever she did it. It took some of the monotony away from the crushing boredom.

    That’s when a bright red blip resolved itself into real space at the edge of sensor range. The bridge pinged it and it turned out to be an Imperial Sentinel-class landing craft. A moment later, the red blip turned blue and the identification codes showed it was the Ghost’s crew returning. That hand went to Twelve.

    The next hand we played went to Eleven when the light impact of docking rocked through the vessel. Eleven dealt the cards and it took all of my military bearing not to break out in laughter. I was staring straight at an Idiot’s Array while also realizing that the Rebels just scored an Imperial shuttle with their defector.

    I was just about to drop the winning hand on the table when the alert claxon sounded. I grumbled about my luck and dropped my cards face down, hoping I’d be able to pick up where I left off after whatever spooked the bridge. Cari tossed me my helmet and we ran out onto the catwalks over the alert fighter staging. I was buckled in, engines hot, and out of the launch bay in less than a minute.

    I formed up on Nine’s wing as we dropped into position alongside Aurek who was on active patrol. My sensors pinged a single fighter coming in at Mark Three. I announced it over the comms and hit the scanner. It took a couple of seconds for the sensors to sort through the details.

    It was definitely a TIE fighter from both the ball cockpit and solar array wings, but that’s the only similarities it shared. It used the same wings as a Bomber, but the body extended back almost their entire length. It may have been some new scout variant that the Empire developed, but why would it have been flying solo on an attack vector toward the fleet. Oh, it also had shields.

    Both flight groups opened fire when the TIE got within weapons range. The fight should have lasted all of five seconds with the eight to one odds, but it wasn’t that easy. The pilot accelerated and rolled his ship left and right, totally dodging all of our blasts, before unleashing a volley that took out both Phoenix One and Two at the same time. He shot by us before we could reacquire.

    I began pulling around as the TIE fired a couple shots at a blockade runner and then made a full strafing run on the command ship. By the time I was pulled around on Nine’s wing, the fighter was already doubling back through the fleet. We were nowhere near him now. I was just glad that the shields held on Phoenix Home, but he was definitely targeting the generator.

    Three and Four fell in on his tail and began firing just as Nine and I got in position for our own attack run. That’s when I saw him do the unthinkable. He baffled his ion engines and spun his fighter around to fire directly behind him, a stunt that should have ripped his ship apart with the inertial stress. Three was taken out immediately, followed soon after by four. It was so quick, that she didn’t even scream over the comms. The pilot unbaffled his ship and it shot in the opposite direction from where he was going, throwing off the attack vector that Nine and I were on.

    The TIE strafed Phoenix Home again and struck the shield generator before continuing the length of the ship. My sensors showed that the shields were down and the ship was venting out of at least two holes in the superstructure. There was an internal explosion and the entire aft of the ship went red on my scopes. The hyperdrive was down as were the flight deck atmospheric shields. I saw a flailing form in space behind the ship for a moment before I refocused on the fighter.

    The Ghost called out that they were moving to engage and began a pursuit of the TIE. Captain Syndula ordered us to form up and focus fire. Nine and I were the only two fighters within range of the transport, with Eleven and Twelve having failed to find a good vector to launch their own strafing run. We formed up on the ship’s wings and waited for a good window.

    The nose gunner was already firing when the TIE began another attack run at the command ship. Our laser fire did something, at least, because the fighter hesitated momentarily and broke off. Unfortunately, he just retargeted us. He came around faster than any TIE should have been able to. Before I even realized where he was, Nine was vaporized and he was firing on the Ghost.

    I looked over and saw his ship less than twenty meters off of my wing lining up an attack run on the transport and not even paying attention to me. That when I saw something that made my blood freeze. Inside the fighter, lit by the system’s primary and the red flight lighting of the ship, was not a TIE pilot. Instead, I saw the angled helmet and black mask of the Emperor’s Emissary. The second most powerful person in the entire Empire: Darth Vader.

    I rolled off of his wing and tried to come back around behind him, but my sensors screamed out that space was getting a bit more crowded. Three Star Destroyers jumped in almost dead ahead. There was no way I was going toe-to-toe with one Star Destroyer, let alone three. But, they were still far enough away that they couldn’t even target us.

    I lined up for a shot on Vader’s tail, but he rolled up and left. I wanted to squeeze the triggers until they snapped off under my fingers, but I couldn’t. If I missed him, I would have been firing directly into the tail of the Ghost. I juked down, and he mirrored my movements. Rolled left and he did the same. There was nothing I could do to hit him without putting the transport at risk from friendly fire. How could one pilot anticipate every movement I made in order to line up directly with the ship he was attacking?

    That’s when I heard the order to abandon Phoenix Home come over the main comm. I broke off my attack and turned to cover the escape pods. There was nothing I could have done to help without also putting the Ghost at risk. I only counted three of the lifeboats coming out of the ship; only three, maximum capacity of twelve, for nine hundred crew.

    I didn’t know if there was anyone from Phoenix left, but at the moment I was the highest ranking officer in the squadron that I knew of. I ordered the squadron to form up and protect the pods. I didn’t hear any acknowledgements and my scopes showed that I was the only friendly starfighter in the vicinity.

    I pulled in close to the pods when I saw a secondary explosion and laser fire, followed by a ship shooting out from the launch bay. Someone else had survived! Their stick-work was sloppy at best, but they aimed for the direction of the Corvettes.

    The escape pods docked with Liberator and Commander Sato gave the order to jump to Safe Haven. I selected the destination from my astrogation computer, but it didn’t list a system name. I was numb as I pulled the lever to enter hyperspace.

    The only thing that kept me from being sick was the fact that I’d be in the cockpit with it for the next three hours according to the astrogation countdown. It was still too much time with nothing to do after watching my entire squadron destroyed around me by one lone starfighter, regardless of who the pilot was.

    I checked in with the Liberator, letting them know that I survived and then opened a line to the other fighter. I was surprised to see the green skin and hexagonal tattoos of Serim fill the comm display. She was finishing up her repairs on Five’s cockpit when the deck shields failed. She was able to seal the canopy before the bay completely depressurized. She wasn’t a pilot, so she just waited until things were over to get out and jump with the rest of the fleet.

    She told me that Six and Eight were in their fighters waiting for clearance when the ship took the hits. The rack over six crushed the engine assemble when it fell. Eight, whose ship was in the rear of the flight bay, was bucked off the deck and slammed against the ceiling, shattering the canopy.

    I had a lot of time to myself in the cockpit and it got me to thinking about the past. I was able to work the only reminder of my past out of my flight suit to look at it and hold it. It was a crystal that I wrapped some wire around to turn it into a pendant. It was silly, but it meant something to me. It meant hope.

    When I was younger, after the Clone Wars ended and I was old enough to leave the Hub on my own, my parents forbade me from visiting only one area on the entire planet. Being a youth, that meant that I had to visit it. It turned out to be some burned out ruins, but they were modern.

    I found out, after exploring them on several occasions, that it was the Jedi Agricorps settlement. It was a place for failed Jedi to continue serving the Republic. I explored every building, every drawer, and every nook and cranny. That’s when I found my treasure.

    I used to watch Jedi holodramas before they were outlawed by the Empire, and a couple afterwards that my parents didn’t know about. That’s how I was able to identify the lightsaber that I found. Well, it wasn’t exactly a lightsaber; more like half of a lightsaber. It was cleanly sheered through the housing and all of the circuitry inside it. It was in the largest room and had been wedged under the bed built into the wall.

    I took it home with me and spent the next month carefully taking it apart and studying every little piece that I could see. It was so intricate and the pieces fit together like they were part of a puzzle. As I pulled them out, they just refused to go back in together. They weren’t even held in by any screws or anything; they just fit so perfectly together on a level I had never seen. At the heart, though, was the crystal.

    It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I’ve seen other crystals in my life, but this one was different. At first, it didn’t refract any light through it, no matter what I tried, it remained perfectly clear. That made it special. So, I used some of my mother’s jewelry wire (she didn’t even know that I took any), to made it into a pendant.

    At first, it constantly felt cold against my skin. I knew that was physically impossible, just like it not refracting any light. It was uncomfortable, but I never took it off. However, after about a year, it felt warmer. One day, I was looking at it again in the light, and it suddenly blinded me with the colors it began refracting. Suddenly, like I had pulled it from a blast shield into a targeting beam.

    Even now, as I record this, it is refracting the azure light from hyperdrive into mournful colors around the cockpit. I’ve never taken it off, even in the Imperial Academy.

    When I was younger, I had a babysitter that I only barely remember. She was a Twi’lek girl that I later found out was part of the Agricorps, I think she was sixteen. She used to tell me about something called the Force. It seems silly and magical, but it was so believable to a four year old. I still believe in it, but I’d never tell anyone about it. Because the Jedi were all declared traitors, and their religion was seen as seditious, I couldn’t even look it up without being flagged by Imperial Intelligence. So, I have only the stories told to me by a girl whose name I don’t even remember.

    It’s times like this that I remember the stories. It’s times of loss and times when I need strength. I’m the last member of Phoenix Squadron. The others were either destroyed by Darth Vader in their fighters or died with Phoenix Home. Now, we’re on our way to somewhere in the Outer Rim. They’re all gone. All of them. Dead. The only thing left is the Force, whatever that is.
     
  15. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Wow. Hope Ander enjoyed the dull downtime, because YIKES! Strange, he could be Force-sensitive, maybe? Wonder if Ahsoka picked up on that? It sounds like Sato escaped, so that's something. And Serim. I'm curious to know more about her.

    I'll make a refill on the popcorn while awaiting the next installment. Good stuff so far, Volund!
     
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  16. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    As I have said before, this is Rebels Season 2 from the perspective of the pilot. I’m spreading out the events of the series across the year, but it is still entirely the season. This one covered the second half (second episode) of The Siege if Lothal. So, you can tell who will live or die among the main cast by watching the show.

    I can say without a doubt that he is not Force-sensitive, maybe. His skill was so good in the Youth Academy that he was referred to the “special projects” recruiter. That would have been one of the many Imperial Inquisitors (specifically, Seventh Sister). If he were Force-sensitive, she would have picked up on it and he would have been whisked away like Dhara Leonis was.

    That doesn’t mean that he isn’t special. I mean, so far as we know Chirrut Îmwe is not Force-sensitive and look what he can do. If he is Force-sensitive (I can’t wait for the upcoming novel), then he wasn’t powerful enough to come on the Inquisitors’ radar (or holocron). So, we may see my plan changing depending on any number of factors. However, at this moment, he is not Force-sensitive.

    “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”

    You’ll be learning a little more about Serim in the coming weeks.

    As for the popcorn, you might want to invest in a flat of it. This is going to be a long and bumpy ride. There are still 48 more entries encompassing 20 episodes, 9 comics, and a video game.
     
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  17. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 006: Well That Escalated Quickly....

    It took us three jumps to make it to Safe Haven, a total of thirteen hours in hyperspace. After the first leg of the trip, Serim docked with the Liberator. It took me close to an hour to talk her through docking procedures. She was able to fly the ship, but I doubt she had the skill to fight if it came to it. She probably couldn’t even have done an atmospheric entry or landing. Even she admitted that she was only a tech and not a pilot. I was invited to dock, but I told them I needed to stay in space to run cover in case we came upon an Imperial patrol.

    In the end, we came out of hyperspace in the Dantooine system. It was an Agroplanet, not unlike Ukio, but sported a pair of moons where Ukio had one. I had to put thoughts of my home out of my head because my scope was full of many different ships that seemed to take our presence personal. Most of them were old Republic refits, particularly Z-95 Headhunters and V-19 Torrent starfighters, but there were others that I didn’t recognize. The fleet even sported an older Nebulon-B Frigate and a ship close to the size of a Star Destroyer. After a few moments, they tagged blue on my scanners and we were given permission to land.

    The base was huge, big enough to comfortably land all five of the corvettes. I set down close by the Liberator and was greeted by an assortment of technicians swarming all over my ship. I hadn’t even adjusted to the planet’s gravity when I heard the unmistakable whine of a transport overhead. Sure enough, the Ghost set down opposite the CR90 from me.

    I got to the Alderaan Cruiser’s ground elevator at the same time as the crew of the Ghost. When I saw that Ahsoka was with them, it actually made me smile. I greeted them with a nod just as Commander Sato stepped onto the tarmac. He only said “follow me” and began walking toward what I assumed to be the command building.

    Everyone was silent, except for the Mandalorian. She asked me if I was okay and what happened to the rest of the squadron. I looked her right in the T-visor as we walked, unsure if she could even see my eyes through the gold polarized visor and shook my head. She dropped back a couple of paces after that. Ahsoka took her place by my side, though, which gave me a little more strength than I thought I was capable of having.

    Give me a starfighter and I can navigate a star system without a problem. Give me hallways and my boots, and… well, remember my first time on a Star Destroyer. All I knew is that we ended up in some kind of briefing room. It was about twice the size of the command deck aboard Phoenix Home, but filled with twice the bodies and enough equipment to outfit a Star Destroyer’s bridge.

    The room was filled with uniforms, but there were four around the table that were not in uniform. Then again, they would have stood out even if they had been. The only one I recognized was the older gentleman, Viceroy and First Chairman of Alderaan, Bail Organa; I had seen him in my youth at the Hub during some ceremony or something. Beside him was a girl who I assumed was Alderaan’s Senator and his daughter, Leia. There was also a regal looking woman with short red hair and blue eyes that was the center of attention, even though she was only standing to one side of the table. Finally there was a rather portly Mon Calamari with gray skin and what I assumed to be a perpetual sneer.

    I stood silently as the ‘adults’ in the room talked, to include one of the officers with a rather shaggy gray beard and another that reminded me of any number of Imperial Intelligence Officers I had seen. The kid, Ezra, also chimed in a thing or two about some place called “Tarkintown” on Lothal, gaining a not-so-subtle glare from some of the older officers. In the end, the redhead looked up at me and asked if I had anything to add. I nodded and said that I got a good look at the pilot of the TIE and identified him as Darth Vader.

    In the Imperial military, junior officers are supposed to defer any questions like that one to their flight leader or line commander. I thought the Rebels might have had a similar policy, though, because the entire room fell silent and all eyes that were around the table suddenly fell on me. I think the temperature in the room either rose or fell about ten degrees because I began to both sweat and get chills. I proceeded to explain how I knew it was Darth Vader and about what I witnessed the TIE doing, to include is maneuverability when compared to the A-Wings.

    The Imperial-like officer, a General if I was reading his rank correctly, left the table and ordered me to follow him for a full debriefing. He took me to a room that looked more like a cell than a debriefing room. It had a cot, a table, and two chairs. The guard posted outside the room let me use the refresher and handed me a day-tube of nutrition paste. I took off my helmet and sat on the cot waiting for the debriefing officer.

    I was awoken after about an hour by the first of such officers entering the room. For the next two days straight, nineteen hours a day, I was interrogated. I was questioned about everything I had ever done, both in the Rebellion and the Empire. It wasn’t a debriefing; those let you rest a little and didn’t try to trip you up over your statements.

    My journal was taken, scanned, read aloud to me, analyzed, and I was made to explain every single detail of each of the five posts I had made in it to this point. They tried changing details and asking me to explain why I didn’t have my facts straight. At one point, they brought in a medical droid to monitor me for lies.

    Finally, I blew up. The officer questioning me was a human, but he looked more like a Gamorrean stuffed into a uniform sized for an Ugnaught. He was peering at me over thick-lens glasses and questioning me about my family and what I knew about the Rebel cell on Ukio that I helped to destroy, for the third time. I yelled that I had enough. I needed to rest, I needed to sleep, I needed to walk, and I needed to clear my head. I told him that if he wanted to stop me, he’d have to shoot me and that I’d most certainly shoot back. When he sputtered something about my not having a weapon, I just stared at him and asked if he was willing to bet his life on that.

    I didn’t even grab my helmet when I left. The guard outside of my room looked like I had hit him with a stun blast when I kicked the door to my cell open. It shocked him so much that he smacked his light gray helmet against the permacrete wall. He didn’t stop me, even with the officer yelling that my debriefing wasn’t over yet.

    It took me a little time, but I finally made my way out of the base. A little searching and I found a series of speeder bikes that were unattended. I didn’t care if they arrested me, but I had to clear my head. That meant acceleration and a lot of it.

    I hopped on a speeder, picked a direction, elevated to about a dozen meters, and gunned the accelerator. After an hour of flying over fields and hills at maximum velocity in a direction that was away from the base, I finally came to a stop. I practically fell off of the bike and just sat beside it holding my knees as the sun slowly sank to the horizon.

    The temperature was dipping into the uncomfortable zone and I knew it would probably get chilly during the night. Thankfully, the speeder bike’s cargo compartment had a field kit in it. I set up the heat lamp and dug through to find some kind of rations. I was rewarded with a flask, instead. It wasn’t nearly enough to get drunk, but was enough to at least relax. I downed half and tucked it under my vest.

    It was night when I heard the engine in the distance. There were no lights, which meant the pilot was either crazy or stupid. It stopped about fifty meters from where I set up camp. I didn’t even turn to see who it was when I heard the footsteps stop at the edge of the light. “Mind if I share your campsite,” was all she asked. It was Ahsoka.

    She set a sealed container down next to me and sat opposite the heat lamp. It was warm and I discovered it contained a rather thick cut of nerf-steak, tubers, and vegetables with a container inside that had some sweetened juice. I was going to offer her half before I saw she brought her own. We ate in silence until the insects announced the rise of both moons. I shared the last half of the flask with her.

    After a while, she looked at me right in the eyes and asked, “Do you want to talk about it?” I didn’t really want to, but I couldn’t help myself. I spilled it all out. What I was feeling, why I was feeling it, Three, the squadron, Darth Vader, the Empire, the Hub, my parents, everything. At some point, I had started crying and she moved over to put an arm around my shoulder. I don’t know how long I was talking, but by the time I was done, the moons were setting and there was a glow on the horizon.

    I asked if she had ever lost anyone. She lowered her head and stared distantly into the heat-lamp. I didn’t push, but I could tell she wanted to say something. She looked down and sighed. She took one of the tools that hung from her hip armor. She let it rest in her hand for a moment before thumbing the button on its side.

    I’ve seen the Jedi in the holodramas use their laser swords before. The holorecordings didn’t do them justice. It was brighter than I thought it would be, and unlike the dramatic ones, it was pure white. The hum was also louder. Then, it was over, and the hilt was clipped back on her belt.

    We sat in silence for a while as the heat of the sun took over from the glow of the lamp. Then, she stood and offered me her hand. I accepted it and got to my feet. I packed up the camp while she walked back to her speeder and was finished as she glided it over to meet me. It took about three hours to get back, mostly because we weren’t gunning our engines past the red-line like I had the previous day.

    The only complaint upon my return was drinking the flask dry, but that was distant as Ahsoka was leading me back into the bowels of the command building. Rather than the debriefing cell, I was brought to a set of quarters where I cleaned up and changed into a clean uniform that was provided for me. I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until I heard a knock at the door. It was Commander Sato.

    He led me through the halls to a room a little larger than the one I had slept in. Neither of us said anything until the end, when he told me to be polite. The woman in white was standing behind a desk that was centered in the room. I could tell that she was some sort of leadership over the Rebellion from the two guards in opposite corners who eyed me suspiciously, but I didn’t know what her rank was or even who she was. At least I didn’t know her until she opened by introducing herself: Chancellor Mon Motha, Chief of State of the Civil Government of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

    She apologized for the heavy-handed way that General Draven had conducted my debriefing. She also said that I handled it appropriately, under the circumstances. Her smile was very charming, which was probably one of the reasons she was picked to run things. She asked if it was okay for her to debrief me, properly. I nodded and took the seat provided.

    She told me that she read through my journal and asked me questions about it. One of the biggest was about Three. She asked me why I never referred to her by name. Well, her name was Yophi. She didn’t want it written anywhere because she had a Death Mark from some Moff in the Anoat Sector who enjoyed hiring slicers. She didn’t tell me the details, though, and I never asked.

    In the end, Mon Mothma asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I just wanted to fly, preferably in an A-Wing. She smiled at that, and told me that I would be getting my wish. I was told that I would remain part of Phoenix Squadron, but I would not be the new commander. I told her that I was glad because I didn’t think I was ready for command yet. That made her smile again. I walked out of her office feeling better about the whole Rebellion thing than I had for the past week.

    Serim caught up with me the next day and practically dragged me out of the base. She told me that we were going on a picnic and she would take the controls if I didn’t. That at least half-motivated me to jump in the pilot’s seat of the small landspeeder she procured for us. We were both quiet as I flew us out to the spot that Ahsoka and I had camped at.

    I didn’t even realize that she had lost her entire technical team when Phoenix Home was destroyed. We talked about it, cried about it, ate in silence, and watched the sun set. We ended up in the back seat of the speeder not long after, under a thermal blanket. Nothing happened. We just held each other and watched the stars until we fell asleep. They seemed so peaceful.

    The next morning, she told me that someone had found my helmet and it would be waiting for me in the cockpit of my fighter. I dropped her at the landing elevator of the Liberator and returned the vehicle to the speeder pool. Got lost again as I made my way back to pilot country, but had a blue and white astromech lead me in the right direction. It was being perpetually followed by a protocol droid that wouldn’t shut up, but was readily ignored.

    On the way, I was summoned to the Briefing Room. Thankfully the astromech knew the way there, because I was more lost than normal. Commander Sato was there waiting for me with the pilot of the Ghost. With them was a tall man in a green flight suit. He was introduced as the new Squadron Leader, Lieutenant Commander Kavin Olis and his XO Flight Lieutenant Niroca Valls. I was also formally introduced to Spectre-2, Hera Syndula (who was the captain, but not in command of the ship… it was a little confusing).

    That’s when I was surprised when Commander Sato handed me the rank insignia of a Flight Lieutenant and told me that I was taking over the new Cresh Group. Beyond that, Cresh was to be stationed aboard the Liberator with Commander Sato. Emacipator would be the new fleet XO with Besh Group assigned. Finally, Lieutenant Commander Olis and Aurek Group would be stationed on the Aurora as third in line of command. The other two corvettes were being retasked as supply ships. Each of the corvettes also received an upgrade with the ventral cargo bay becoming a one-fighter hangar for maintenance purposes.

    On the way out to the tarmac, Captain Syndula asked me how I was doing. I shrugged and thanked her for asking without giving her an answer. I guess she was used to those kinds of responses because she just nodded and continued on in silence.

    There was a short speech by Commander Sato after we got outside, and a small briefing about the travel arrangements, and then I was back to the fighter that was more my home than any bunk had ever been since joining the Rebellion. It wasn’t how I remembered it, though.

    Behind the canopy, on either side of the cockpit, was a red-orange round bird-like symbol. My helmet was on the seat and the same symbol was painted on either side of it as well. It took me a moment to realize that it was the same symbol the Mandalorian girl had on her armor.

    I looked across the tarmac at where the Ghost was parked, and I saw her there watching me while leaning against one of the landing struts. It was the first time I saw her without her helmet and she looked like a kid with blue hair, but I blamed the distance and slight heat shimmer from the tarmac. She nodded to me and I returned it after donning my helmet, the visor polarization showed me that I wasn’t imagining either her age or hair color.

    I guess I wasn’t the last survivor of Phoenix Squadron after all, the Ghost and her crew also survived.
     
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  18. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I have to give Ander credit for not punching out General Draven. He's got a lot more self-control than most folks would!

    And I loved this:
    It's just a fun little character trait that he has no sense of direction on the ground, vs. his skills in the air. Nice cameos of our old friends!

    So, another promotion (earned the hard way, but well-deserved) and the Rebellion regroups & marches on. Still enjoying this! Thanks, Volund Starfire!
     
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  19. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Technically, it wasn't Draven who was doing the "debriefing" of Ander. It was a series of different officers under Draven's orders. However, every Imperial is taught that Admirals and Generals are sacrosanct and to even talk back to them is a death sentence.

    They might pop up some time later, but I haven't got that far ahead. I think the furthest ahead I have gotten has been Group assignments and promotions for the rest of the year.

    Thank you. I've seen that some O.C.s are good at everything. Ander isn't. You'll see some of his other troubles come up soon.

    Is there really any other way in the Rebellion to earn a promotion in a full unit? As for marching on... He is a Lieutenant and they don't do too well on land navigation courses. :p
     
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  20. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Come to think of it, in the Rebellion, IS there such a thing as a 'full unit'? ;)
     
  21. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    That all depends on the unit and the level of support they have. Rogue Squadron was always full because it drew from the best of the best. The Sixty-First Mobile Infantry (Twilight Company) was always full because it drew from worlds conquered by the Rebellion. Phoenix Squadron is supported by Bail Organa, thus it has a high number of Alderaanian pilots. It was also the command unit of Ahsoka Tano, the intelligence coordinator of the fledgling Alliance (thus, she also recruited for it).
     
  22. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I was thinking in terms of casualties. If what we've seen on screen is any indication, full units don't stay at strength for very long... :( Rooting for Ander to make it through to Jakku! Wootwoot!
     
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  23. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Entry 007: The fleet isn’t what it used to be....

    Things certainly changed after we arrived back in Lothal Sector. I had new people, a new command, new landing procedures, new ship, new quarters, and a new mission. Don’t get me wrong, it was better than nothing, and far better than the base on Dantooine, but it was still a little disorienting.

    My second in command of Cresh is a Flight Officer named Olivar Alde. He was a former pilot in the Alderaanian Defense Force who “defected” to the Rebellion, which I learned was more of a lateral transfer when it came to Alderaanians. He is tall, blonde, handsome, and knows it; a real ladies man. We hadn’t even arrived at our final destination when he found a cute technician on the ship to steal away with in one of the escape pods, I think her name is Korra.

    Phoenix Eleven is a Corellian Flight Officer who goes by Tensinal. He flies better than I have ever seen, especially for someone whose file states he was only a smuggler before joining the Rebellion. Unlike most Corellian smugglers, he adamantly refuses to talk about his past, and when he does talk he has a very un-Corellian accent. All I could get from his service record is that he had to be set up with a new identicard when he joined, but the rest of the file was marked classified. I’ve heard of redacted, but everything past this pilot’s name and basic attributes was just a glowing blob of light on the datareader. I’m one of the few people to notice that he always has his blaster on his hip and a concealed vibroknife in his boot.

    Phoenix Twelve is a farmgirl from Dantooine who signed up just before we shipped out. Thaema’s a Pilot Officer, basically a recruit, and has to prove to me that she’s qualified to become a Flight Officer (the only promotion I can make without higher command authorization). She’s good on the stick, but definitely comes from the armpit of the galaxy. I’m pretty sure she was raised by Gundarks. Her language is enough to offend an Imperial Taskmaster and if I had any goal in life it is to get her to chew with her mouth closed and not talk while in that process. The silver lining is that she showers more than regularly, which I understand was a rare luxury where she grew up.

    The four of us make up the new Cresh Group. It is my first command and made me realize something: I hate datawork. I have to fill out my flight logs, which I am used to. However, I also have to read the flight logs of the rest of the group and sign off on them. I have to make sure everyone does their maintenance reports, authorize requisitions from the technical head (who thankfully is Serim), and try to keep my pilots out of trouble. The last part is problematic, at best thanks to being stationed on Commander Sato’s corvette (he is a stickler for the rules).

    Landing procedures are also a pain. We have to rotate between the landing points every day. It isn’t just to keep things fresh and new, but because one fighter needs to be maintained in the ventral landing bay. What should be daily maintenance on every fighter is taking place every four days. Serim had a full crew now, being promoted to Chief Technician of our group, but it’s still a sore spot for her.

    The Liberator is a Corellian Engineering Corporation CR90 Corvette. It has a total crew complement of 60, with 38 primary crew, 8 officers, Commander Sato, 8 gunners, 12 flight operation technicians, and the four pilots of Cresh Group. However, it has a troop berth that can hold a hundred more. It’s armed with dorsal and ventral dual-turbolaser turrets and four single turbolaser turrets on the upper hull. It’s not quite 127 meters long and four decks deep. Finally, it has eight 12-person escape pods and four auxiliary pods that can hold 24.

    The top deck is primarily troop berthing and supply, but it also includes the auxiliary sensor deck amidships and the dorsal turbolaser control room. Deck 2 is the primary operations deck and includes all of the operations stations and whatnot, but is also where the port and starboard airlocks are located along with the four other turbolaser controls rooms. Deck 3 is home sweet home for the crew, not to mention the Group. Deck 4 is the fighter bay in the central cargo bay with a simulator room built one of the forward cargo bays, the ventral gun control room, and the lower airlock.

    Our quarters are far different than I was used to on Phoenix Home. The group is split between two rooms that share a common refresher. Each room is smaller than the one on the Pelta-class cruiser, but it still has a bit more room since it is only filled with two bodies. The junior officer billets contain two bunks, two lockers, and a single desk with terminal. On the plus side, we’re right next to the lift up and an access ladder down; we can get to our fighters and into space in about thirty seconds.

    Being in a command position, I also know what our actual mission is. We are to scout the sector, keep Alliance High Command informed of Imperial numbers and what was happening in the systems, and strike where we can. It isn’t just random cargo strikes, but much more. On top of that, we are to assist Rebel cells within the sector when we can and generally be a strike thorn in the Empire’s side. It’s hard to believe that our one squadron ia responsible for the entire sector, though.

    Commander Sato decided that the scouting missions to low-priority systems would be done solo. Major systems would have a two-ship flight to scout it. Missions would be determined as needed. However, Group leaders can override the decisions and boost numbers if we think it is necessary.

    There’s not much else to report. However, I am requiring all members of the squadron to use the feedback exercisers we have on board at least one hour each day and raising their protein ration by a half to make sure they don’t get soft. Now, it’s time to try and teach Thaema how to play Sabaac.
     
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  24. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I meant to reply to this sooner, but time got away from me...

    So, the sign-up sheet goes next to the escape pods, now? ;)

    My father actually knew a guy when he was going through basic who couldn't understand why you would shower more than once a month. The guy grew up in a house without running water. Guess it's a learning curve; adjusting to new people from very different backgrounds.

    And now we know why Wedge tried SO HARD to pass up promotions!!

    Ander is stepping up to the plate (or whatever the Galactic equivalent is), and will do well. I'm sure there is plenty of action to come! Especially when there are so few who need to do so much. Going well, Volund Starfire!
     
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  25. Volund Starfire

    Volund Starfire Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Who said anything about a signup sheet?

    I went to Basic with a girl like that. She grew up in the Ozarks.

    It wasn’t just Wedge. I was surprised when I became a Supply Sergeant and gained my own minions… omg, there was no end to the paperwork.

    Oh, just wait… things will be getting better soon.